Despite the ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19, there exists one prominent and politically significant hindrance to this objective: vaccine hesitancy. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s recent data approximately 72 percent of American adults have received at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Among those vaccinated whose race is known, 58 percent are white and 10 percent are Black.
Distrust of the medical industry may be one reason that Black Americans lag behind. This distrust arises largely from experimentations done on slaves, typically without anesthesia, and the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, in which 399 Black men were infected and monitored without treatment from 1932 to 1972. These significant events have had a trickle-down effect, with horrific stories and negative attitudes toward medicine passed down through generations.